CoMotion Labs in the Old Neighborhood

IMG_20160728_105529200_HDRI’m getting psyched for the opening of CoMotion Labs. I took the train to UW station today, walked across campus, traipsed up the Ave, hung a left on 45th and was soon gazing up at a building that almost looks like an architect’s computer illustration of a future building, rather than a building that actually exists in physical reality right now. This is appropriate, being that this facility is set to become one of the places where virtual reality is born. When I told my mother about CoMotion Labs, she said, “So it’s like a virtual reality maternity ward?” Exactly.

Speaking of young people who make a lot of noise, twenty-four years ago, during the Summer of Grunge, I lived two blocks from where CoMotion Labs now stands, in a crooked little house on the 45th Street off-ramp with four or five other dudes. We called this domicile the Punk Rock Pagoda. I worked as an ice cream man for Joe’s Ice Cream, read a lot of Neil Postman, listened to tons of Sonic Youth and Beastie Boys, and wore the same pair of plaid shorts for three months. Our parties were legendary. Summer of ’92, man. That shit was for real. It would’ve blown my mind to know that one day this neighborhood would be home to a cutting edge virtual reality startup incubator. I wouldn’t have known what most of those words even meant.

Back to the present. There have been a couple tenants announced at CoMotion so far. I think it’s important to note that VR startups occupy one floor of CoMotion and that the other floors are occupied by startups and other organizations dedicated to such things as IT and medical technology. This means that various technologies will be in close proximity to one another and presumably these connections will spark new innovations and partnerships.

One of the companies setting up shop on the VR floor at CoMotion Labs is MultiModal Health. They’ve developed a cool physical therapy application that incorporates VR. This video is literally all I know about MultiModal Health, but it sure looks fascinating.

More shots of the Labs: